NHM doctors given ‘peanuts’ for working in far flung areas
Medicos threaten quitting their job, if incentives not restored
Srinagar: Opposite to the claims of encouraging the doctors to work in far flung areas and provide better healthcare facilities in these areas, government has surprisingly halved the monthly remuneration of medicos working in far-flung areas like Gurez.
This has been revealed by the shocked medicos who say they are thinking of returning from these areas as a protest.
“We are seriously thinking of returning from the area as a mark of protest” said a group of doctors, employed under National Health Mission (NHM), whose monthly remuneration has been surprisingly halved and are being forced to work for peanuts in comparison of their colleagues working in other areas of the state.
“We were engaged some five years back under NHM on basic salary and some incentives for working in a category-A difficult area like Gurez which not only lacks the basic facilities but remains cut also for months together during winters,” the group of doctors said.
In a representation given to NHM director on 19-11-2018, the doctors had stated: “The incentives which we were receiving since our joining have been suddenly stopped since September 2018 without any information/notice to us”.
“Serving in such difficult areas is expensive for us as no basic facilities like electricity, hot water, firewood etc is provided and we have been arranging these necessities ourselves from the incentives mentioned,” they added.
The affected doctors said that the incentives were stopped from September and since then they have been reminding the authorities, “but there is no word from the authorities,” they said.
The aggrieved doctors say that they were lured, to work in a very remote area like Gurez, by the government with the promise of a better package, “but these promises are not being fulfilled.”
They said that they were demanding a considerable enhancement in the salary and incentives and were being assured about the fulfillment of this genuine demand but they ended up losing half of their salary.
“We would get almost 60,000 per month but after the incentives were stopped, we get half the amount which is peanuts for an MBBS doctor who are working in one of the remotest areas of the state where from one is not able to reach his family for weeks rather months together,” they said.
Pertinently, the doctors have been reluctant to work in these remote areas while the government claims to be offering ‘mouthwatering’ incentives to these doctors to motivate them.
“Who will work in the remote areas if the government doesn’t keep its promise? Though we do not have any other source of income, but working for a meager 30,000 rupees in a border area is like being unemployed. Many of us are thinking of leaving our jobs if the administration doesn’t restore our incentives” they said.